By on October 7, 2010

In its retooling announcement for the Orion assembly plant, GM notes that

Orion will be the home to Chevrolet’s new small car and Buick’s future compact sedan – the all-new Verano.

What’s interesting is that GM doesn’t call the “new small car” the Aveo, even though it’s shown near-production versions of the new model bearing the Aveo name at several auto shows. Sooner or later, GM will have to start sticking with consistent, memorable nameplates in order to build up the kind of loyalty enjoyed by models like Accord, Camry, Civic and Corolla. Which would suggest that an improved Aveo should be called the Aveo, and that the new Opel Astra-based Buick Verano should be called something less instantly forgettable. We’ve speculated about what a three-door Buick Astra hatch might be called, but this Verano plan calls for an intervention. Help GM keep Buick from sliding into 90s-era ambivalence by improving on the narcoplesy-inducing nameplate Verano. It doesn’t have to be a heritage nameplate, but it should be something that makes the brands foray into compact cars seem like less of an afterthought. And that will be just as good four generations from now.

Get the latest TTAC e-Newsletter!

146 Comments on “Ask The Best And Brightest: Rename This Buick...”

  • avatar


    Too obvious?

    • 0 avatar

      No, it lacks historical precedent here.
      That joke would only work if they badged it as a Caddy. Buick’s version of the Cavalier was called the Skyhawk. Besides, that’s not a simple badge job. It doesn’t look like it shares *anything* from the Cruze, including the interior which I caught a partial shot of elsewhere.
      Regardless, that’s better looking than the Cruze by at least an order of magnitude (IMO). It’s a very sharp looking car. Stick the 2.0T from the Regal in it and I imagine it would be very amusing to drive.

    • 0 avatar

      Caddy schmaddy.  “Skyhawk” doesn’t invoke nearly the amount of ire for “compact luxury” that “Cimarron” does.  That’s the reference.

    • 0 avatar

      I’m not so certain this particular car has earned that ire.

      Reread the article on the Cimarron for reference. It was up not too long ago.

      Edit: the article is linked at the top of the page. Now *that’s* convenience!

    • 0 avatar

      I’m not so certain this particular car has earned that ire.

      Let’s give it a chance.

      BTW, I drove a Cimarron when new, and thought it was ridiculous.  Didn’t own it.  Just drove it.

    • 0 avatar

      Kung-Pao — a homage to the source of its cheap components

    • 0 avatar

      Ladies, and Gentlemen… Behold…
      The Buick Bailout

  • avatar


  • avatar

    Call it Special.  Because it’s so special.

  • avatar

    Since it’s being built in Orion, what about that? Buick Orion sounds pretty good to me…

  • avatar

    Since it looks like a smaller version of the Regal, how about “Regal Somerset”?
    Or would that be “Riviera Somerset”?
    I’m confused.

  • avatar
    Amendment X

    Yes GM, name it Verano, because the tards in your focus group forgot that a car called the MURANO already exists.

  • avatar

    I like the idea of Orion, except Orion is a warrior hunter… which this Buick is not. So, in keeping with the constellation theme, call it the Gemini – sounds good, and it really is just a twin.

  • avatar

    I always liked the Buick Invicta name of the early 60s for the mid-level Buick.  The name only survived a few years and has been all but forgotten.  Century was always a good name as well.  It has been the name of the mid sized Buick for years, and we need a car to get the Cutlass Ciera-twin out of our brains when someone refers to a Buick Century.

  • avatar

    Verano is too close to (Suzuki) Verona, the total suckage of which we only have GM to blame for.

    Why not Electra? I know it’s classically been on high-end Buicks, but I don’t think there’s a better name out there, and it would also resonate with the younger target demographic since it’s base word is electric (i.e. electronics).

    Edit: Don’t name the car. Now that I think about it, this car is so unnecessary, just cancel it. This is worse than the Saturn Vu-ick rebadge.

    • 0 avatar

      I agree.  Electrify it and call it Electra.

    • 0 avatar

      The problem with the name ‘Electra’ is that we now have a group of electric cars on the market, something that wasn’t an issue when the classic 60’s Electras roamed the planet.

        Nowadays, if Buick were to have a “Volt” it would by definition HAVE TO be called ‘The Electra’.   Otherwise, imagine the frustration of the Buick salesman who has to explain for the 1,000th time, “No, it’s NOT an Electric Car”…

      Is it not so?  

    • 0 avatar

      I agree with KalapanaBlack: Buick doesn’t need and shouldn’t sell this car in North America.  If Buick dealers need something to sell at this price point, for the love of God just give them a Chevy franchise and let them sell Cruzes and Aveos.
      And yes, I know Lexus, BMW, Mercedes and Audi are all intending the same thing.  It’s not a great idea for them, either.  Mercedes gets a pass because they don’t have another brand, and Audi can kind of make it work, but BMW already has Mini for this, and Lexus is the wrong brand for the CT200h.  Buick (and Lincoln) are even worse choices: they don’t have the cachet to drag a small car up.
      Repeat after me: your brand does not have to be all things to all people unless your brand is Wal-mart, and even then it’s pushing it.  Apple does not need to make microwave ovens.  Nike does not need make cowboy boots.  Buick should not need to make a subcompact car.

  • avatar

    The vast majority of the future buyers of this Buick will call it an Excelle.

  • avatar

    I vote for Skylark. That has been the name Buick has used on its compact cars since the 60s. Verano is a weak, meaningless name.

  • avatar

    The first thing that came to mind is the CorrollaChromy++.

  • avatar

    call it the Kciub because they definitely have it backwards. Buicks are supposed to be BIG.

  • avatar

    How about a variation of an older model name – Buick Sabre?

  • avatar

    Sticking to a name, no matter how colorless, makes so much sense. Notice that Accord, Camry, Civic and Corolla are pleasant-sounding, vaguely positive, but automotively meaningless names, perhaps chosen by a computer. But everyone–not just car buffs–knows them and what they mean:  Accord > Civic, Corolla < Camry.

  • avatar

    Wait, this is supposed to be luxury and everyone knows American Luxury means three letter names. Rename it along with the rest of the line to three letter names. Yes, I’m being sarcastic.

  • avatar

    The name “LeSabre” brings back much history, although this is not a full size car.
    I like the name “Orion” after the manufacturing plant.

  • avatar

    Buick Opel by Orion?

  • avatar

    Keeping in mind its stick-on hood vents, and other hastily-added accoutrements intended to fool the ignorant into believing they’re driving something other than a gilded Daewoo, may I humbly submit…

    In the same vein as the ghetto-fabulous Cadillac Escalade…

    The Buick Gangsta.

  • avatar

    Let’s step out of Mr. Peabody’s Wayback Machine and…


    Whoops – sorry jpcavanugh, you were on this first…

  • avatar

    Why not naming it “Knackwurst”? This would not only give due respect to the Opel designers but would also describe the exterior design idea.

  • avatar

    Based on the above picture, I think the rear 3/4 looks like a Ford Focus. And I’m just not feeling the little windowlettes in the A-pillar. Yeah, I know they are supposed to help with visibility, but they just look dorky, especially on a Buick.
    But, if there must be a small Buick again, it needs to be a Skylark. My first car was an ’85 Skylark, the last of the X’s, and despite the crappy drivetrain, I loved that car, and the name Skylark for me brings back fond memories.
    Oh, and while we are at it, let’s get rid of the cheap-o sounding CX/L/S model crap and bring back Custom and Limited!!!

    • 0 avatar

      +1 x 2
      One for the name and one for abolishing random strings of characters as trim level designators.
      Everyone knows the small Buick is called Skylark, and that Custom and Limited are the base and luxe versions. The kind of branding stability we had in the 60s was actually a great marketing strategy. Ironically now that branding is a buzzword, the art appears to be lost.
      How many experts in a given field does it take to obscure all knowledge of that field, anyway?

  • avatar

    Maybe they can take a page from Mazda and call it the Buick3. If they get a performance division, call it Buickspeed. Then when the high performance model comes out, we’ll call it the Buick Buickspeed Buick3.

  • avatar

    Skylark was a mid-sizer back in the day.  It would make sense to add a good old name back to the line-up.  But, anything but alpha-numeric stupidity.

  • avatar

    Well, Astra is out. They blew that name with the Saturn. Orion’s no good since Ford has it.
    How about the Buick Constellation? I like it. Here’s the promo video copy:
    “Announcing Buick’s bright and bold 2012 lineup. Constellation – Regal – LaCrosse – Enclave.
    Four stylish vehicles, backed up with the integrity of European road precision and the distinctive American design that Buick stands for.”
    OK, don’t like it? Go retro – Invicta, Skylark, Special or Apollo. I always liked the looks of the ’73-’74 Apollo, in orange or dark blue.
    FYI, Buickman quit whining that Buicks have to be BIG. They don’t.

  • avatar

    Since Ford owns Orion and using Astra again would really be dumb, how about Constellation?

  • avatar

    I mentioned Somerset once before, but in hindsight this is more of an Apollo.  It was an even better name attached to a not-so-great car.

  • avatar

    Constellation – Apollo – space, the final frontier. Forward-looking.
    Yes, either one.  Apollo isn’t too retro and was only sold for three model years, so no real baggage. I always thought the ’73-’74 hatchback looked cool in dark blue with its little portholes and the Buick mags.

  • avatar

    How about Velite? What are the chances of Buick ever getting a version of the Camaro convertible? None, so why not use the name from the zeta concept of a few years back. It has a springy lightness to it. Very elite.
    As a bonus the word actually means something. The Velites were light infantry back in the Roman days. They each carried a small spear. Not swept though…

  • avatar
    Dave M.

    Another vote for Invicta.

  • avatar

    The Gray Ghost
    The Violet Merkin Obscurity
    The Congenital Alopecia
    The Onion
    Fàngpì dá sī dì

  • avatar
    Rod Panhard

    Small. Not too intimidating. Should appeal to old people in Florida.
    “Del Boca Vista.”

  • avatar

    Veliite’s good. Much better than Invicta.
    Do you think Ford still has the rights to Marianne Moore’s idea for what became the Edsel, Utopian Turtletop?
    As my Trinidadian factory manager used to yell: “Go quit your skylarking and do something useful, you knaves.”

  • avatar

    I say it should be named Skylark.  Buick has used that name for its intermediate and
    compact automobiles since the 60’s and it has good name recognition.

  • avatar

    Skylark, Skylark, and oh yeah…Skylark.

    The modern car buyer has only skin-deep memory, so Skylark will ring a bell, but carries with it no negative connotations. In fact, no Buick name has any truly negative baggage (those who disagree would never buy a Buick anyway simply because its a BUICK regardless of the car underneath).

    And its not like a staid, mediocre nameplate cannot be ‘turned around’ by good product. Look at the Altima. Who would’ve seen that coming…?

    And agreed that Vernao is bad. Its as bad as all these other bland, baseless, pseduo-Euro upscale names like Murano, Verona, Forenza, etc. Meaningless housewares-sounding drivel.

  • avatar

    This thing is basically an Oldsmobile.  Use one of those names.
    Buick Intrigue
    Buick Cutlass
    Buick Starfire
    Buick Toronado
    Or if they want to make it ‘sporty’, throw in some Pontiac names
    Buick Bonneville
    Buick Star Chief
    Buick Grand Prix
    Or what it really is
    Buick Skylark

  • avatar

    What is this thing you call “Oldsmobile?”  I believe they died sometime around the Great GM Reorganization of 1984, followed by the division head’s fatal heart attack a year later. So when you say “Oldsmobile,” I know not of what you speak.

  • avatar
    Steven Lang

    Naaaahhhh… I’m going to go out on a limb.
    Buick Calibra
    I always liked the way ‘Calibra’ sounds and it has enough vowels in the name to make it almost Italian.
    A very nice, sweet, luxurious sounding name.

  • avatar

    What a dumb, stupid name…Too close to that turd suzuki verona(also made by Daewoo)…I vote for invicta, it’s modern yet classic and somewhat powerful word…looks good in red!!!
     (google image), oh one last thing, i’m all for keeping name a long time for a model but the aveo name is too full of bad memory for a lot of people, that name as got to go for the same reason we can’t buy a new vega, chevette, pinto or cavalier anymore…

  • avatar

    Buick Epiglottis.  Kind of rolls off the tongue, no?

  • avatar

    I’d still like to see them bring back Wildcat

  • avatar

    Keep the “V”. The Buick Verruca.

  • avatar

    Pondering changing demographics and what may be a likely future for the once-sovereign USA I would suggest the………….
    Buick Quetzalcoatl

  • avatar

    Orion looks too much like Onion to me. Why not something like Skyhawk, Somerset, or Riviera? I hope they’re not going to go all Cadillac and call it the BTS or something like that.

  • avatar

    Charisma? Carlock? Lockjaw? Skylock? Shylock?
    Susan Docherty… what do you think?
    ‘Well … it’s available in like 4 or 5 colors… like the import competition. Let’s call it Crayola.’
    oooh Susan, that’s a great idea.  But my old man isn’t really a Crayola man, and he’s thinking about both small Eurotrash cars and “sympathy purchase” Detroit brands to replace his Acura in a few years.
    “Hmm, what other things does your dad like?”
    Well, he drinks too much damn coffee.
    “Well, we could make a Maxwell House Special Edition with matching center console trim.”
    How much did Ford pay Eddie Bauer for the privilege of using their name as an Explorer trim level?
    “We can look into that for our next meeting.”
    … you’re laughing, but I worked at GM’s corporate offices, and you didn’t.
    In light of the alternatives that GM already likely had lined-up… I’m OK with Verano.
    Or Achieva.

  • avatar

    Buick Invicta would work for me; if not:
    Buick Gambelputty de von Ausfern -schplenden -schlitter -crasscrenbon -fried -digger -dangle -dungle -burstein -von -knacker -thrasher -apple -banger -horowitz -ticolensic -grander -knotty -spelltinkle -grandlich -grumblemeyer -spelterwasser -kürstlich -himbleeisen -bahnwagen -gutenabend -bitte -eine -nürnburger -bratwustle -gerspurten -mit -zweimache -luber -hundsfut -gumberaber -shönendanker -kalbsfleisch -mittler -raucher von Hautkopft of Ulm.

  • avatar


  • avatar

    Stodgey.  It’s the only word that came to mind for that picture.

  • avatar


  • avatar

    The Hyper-motard Grand Punta Charade Freestyle, or 6000 SUX.

  • avatar
    John Horner

    I vote for Skylark. You could do really great advertising around the reach for the sky, happy as a lark, light as a feather, flying high kind of imagery.
    GM has so many great names in the vault. They should use them!

  • avatar

    (Since last time I posted Gabourey Sidibe as an example of scary-hideous I was excoriated for being somehow being politically incorrect for calling vomit in your mouth ugly,well, ugly, I figured if ugly was white I might be allowed by the PC Nazis…)

  • avatar

    I’ve always like the sound of Buick Athena. Next choice would be Somerset I think.

  • avatar

    Throw it back in the sea where it belongs.

    Or if they are going to go ahead with it give it a real Buick name, like Century or Skylark.  Buick has too many household names they could draw from that are instantly recognizable. 

  • avatar

    Since it’s related to the Astra and built on Orion, I suggest ‘Betelgeuse’.
    If that’s too complex, what about ‘Uranus’? Anyone who ever saw an episode of Beavis & Butthead can pronounce that.

  • avatar

    The consensus seems to be that a number of already used Buick nameplates would be better than Verano.
    Names like Skylark, Invicta, Century, even Special still have brand equity and recognition without having negative baggage. Who knows what a Verano is, but I bet if you asked 100 people what kind of car a Skylark or Century was, they’d say Buick.
    I wouldn’t use the Electra name on anything that didn’t have a big battery in it. If Buick builds a version of the Volt, Electra is perfect.
    Riveria should be an upscale coupe, and Buick just showed a Riv concept as a show car, so I doubt they’d use it on an entry level Buick.

  • avatar

    I think they should go with something that has a little character, like Buick sDrive24i.
    Or maybe they should just go ahead and call it the Buick Beige. Has a nice ring to it, no?

  • avatar

    SKYLARK. Case closed. All cars this size are looking like the Ford Focus in some manner, and the architecture demands the “A” pillar window, since the wheel wells are back where the front of the door used to be. It certainly looks nicer than any Focus out there. I hope the steering wheel is centered on the driver and not angled off to the side as in the Focus (at least the early ones). This is the new look, get used to it! My old ’64 and cars of that design era ain’t ever coming back!

  • avatar
    mad scientist

    How about the Buick Viagra?  One last go-round for the Geritol crowd.

  • avatar

    Verano is Spanish for summer. I have no objection to this. But “Invierno” means winter, which is most often poetically associated with death, or nearing the end of one’s life. So for a Buick, it fits perfectly.

  • avatar

    Let’s call it the O, or the 73. It will have so little brand appeal that people will have to think logically about their purchase.

  • avatar

    Since it’s a government motors car they need to really appeal to the younger crowd. Why not give it a Disney theme: Buick Goofy.

  • avatar

    I will join the ranks of those voting for Riviera.  It’s the only Buick name left that has any real brand equity or that doesn’t sound horribly dated.

  • avatar

    Chevy = Cruze
    Buick = Bruze
    If we must use an old name plate which would certainly turn me off as I do not want to be reminded of the crap that was produced from the late 70’s through …….   But I think Skylark would be okay and if they make a coupe version they can name it the Skyhawk.

  • avatar


  • avatar

    Dear Buick,
    Hi. I’m a 40+ technical professional who has owned Buicks for 20 years – a restored GS340 (hence my username) and a ’75 GS, and who is in the market for – wait for it – a car in this segment!
    In  my opinion, Verano is a terrible name. It sounds like something a merchant marine might catch at the Port of Bari. (obscure!)
    Tomato? Tomatoe? Murano? Verano? Potato? Potatoe? Let’s call the whole thing off!
    All wit aside, you have a tremendous opportunity here to introduce a car that people actually will want – with a relevant, heritage-based nameplate that shoppers will recognize. And likely connect with.
    Invicta? Maybe for a large car. Somerset? Perhaps. Skylark? Skyhawk? Maybe if it had a stick and you didn’t have ‘GS’ up your sleeve, waiting to strike.
    I vote for Electra. Yes, I know it used to stand for a top-level, full-sized cruiser with style and class. But it’s not 1966 anymore and the modern analog is just what this car aspires to be – a modern, compact, luxurious sedan packed with cutting edge technology.
    So, Electra. Please.
    Yours, 340-4 (Buick 340-4!)

  • avatar
    Domestic Hearse





    And of course, as mentioned above: Skylark.

    Grand National, GNX, Wildcat, Regal, Park Ave — all too big or too powerful historical references.

    What with the alphanumeric model naming trend, GS could work (though this current little Buick is a far cry from one of my favorite Buicks of all time, the Gran Sport).

    Impala, Malibu, Silverado are historical names that had tremendous historical value for Chevrolet — a model that was instantly connected to the brand. Buick has similar gold in their vault. Can the new boy-wonder Hyundai marketing team at GM find it, then leverage it?

  • avatar

    105 comments on this in one day. I know we’re all car nuts, but isn’t this a sign that the Buick brand inspires some passion?

  • avatar

    How about “Mangled Baby Ducks”, with a name like Mangled Baby Ducks, it’s got to be good.

  • avatar

    GM needs to bring the exotic, ‘Italian/Spice’ (e.g. Cimarron) naming scheme back.
    I vote for the Buick Bastardo.

  • avatar
    Mark MacInnis

    Two choices in honor of the ONLY REASON for this car’s misbegotten existence:

    The Buick CAFE


    The Buick Obama 

  • avatar

    Buick Fugly
    Buick Repulsive
    Buick Irrelevence
    Buick Northumberland

  • avatar

    Why is GM’s new marketing wunderkind, Joel Ewanick, allowing this promising new Buick to be saddled with such a crappy name. Really, is Verano the best they could come up with? Really?

    Better chioces in order:

    1) Skylark
    2) Apollo
    3) Somerset
    4) Anything but Verano

  • avatar

    Chevrolet Insignia

  • avatar

    Let’s see:  Buick used to have a fine small car in the Opel Kadette.  However, this isn’t really an Opel, since it’ll be made in the U.S. and therefore is a ‘pure’ Buick. Still I hate to lose the positives from from Kadette name… how can we maintain the association with German quality and essential ‘Buickness’?   Then we have to figure in the demographics of Buick in the American market.

    So, perhaps, The Buick “Buckette“?

  • avatar

    Steven Lang suggested “Calibra” which was the name of a sporty Opel coupe, and actually it’s a great sounding name and would be appropriate given this Buick’s Opel heritage.

    Best choice:

    Buick Calibra

    Sounds sporty and elegant at the same time. Good suggestion Steven Lang!

  • avatar

    I’m rather disappointed that we’re getting a mostly unmodified Excelle GT. The Chinese blunted the front end styling & they stultified the rear end with those tacky chrome taillamp “eyebrows.”
    Anyway, if they want to go with a European name, maybe Allouette? (Too similar to Silhouette, I suppose.)

  • avatar
    bumpy ii

    Yeah, “Skylark” for the roundeyes, and whatever “effervescent starlight bird of good fortune” translates to in Mandarin.

  • avatar
    Mark MacInnis

    How about the “as much as it wants to be when it grows up, it’ll never be a 1-Series or A3”?

  • avatar

    Do the Acrua / Lexus thing… make it more upscale by just giving it a random letter/number combo
    Buick FXY 520

  • avatar

    As long as it is not designed and engineered in America it is fine with new GM.

  • avatar

    Successful car needs to be something musical (see Accord, Sonata)
    so, this Buick could of been:

  • avatar

    It’s a small car, and Buick’s previous forays into small cars are so forgettable, it needs a NEW name.  How about using Michigan city names?
    The two name cities are out, likeGrand Rapids, Ann Arbor and Battle Creek. Port Huron might work if you drop “port”. Buick Huron?
    But there are one word cities too, like Flint, Lansing, Saginaw and Kalamazoo. In Plymouth Mass., the Plymouth didn’t sell well at all, so maybe it shouldn’t be a big city. For a small town, there’s always Livonia, and, and, …
    I’ve got it:  The new Buick Ypsilanti!!!

  • avatar
    Darth Lefty

    Can we stick with the bird theme?  Some kind of falcon, Merlin or Kestrel maybe.  Or one of the less sinister corvids… Oriole?  Blue Jay?

    Can’t believe Starbucks doesn’t already own Verano to go with Verona and Vivanno and Venti and Via

    When I was in junior high our mascot was the falcon and the various “houses” of students were named after falcons… Peregrine and Kestrel and Merlin and Ford and Funky.  Clearly someone got slappy in a late night meeting when they were planning it out.

  • avatar
    M 1

    Er… does that license plate actually say “GT”?

  • avatar

    The Bruze?

  • avatar

    Okay, nobody liked Ypsilanti. There’s another town, in metro Detroit that will work: ECORSE.
    Think of the slogan: “It’s an ECORSE, of course.”

  • avatar

    How about the Monterey?
    Or maybe the Mojave?
    I also like Buick Bondurant – but you might have to get permission to use that one.
    By the way – in spite of the historic relevance, there is absolutely nothing elegant about the word skylark. The bird it describes is not elegant, and the word itself is not elegant – this is one that never should have been, and should be allowed to remain dead.

  • avatar

    I like Apollo.

  • avatar

    Buick Fried Rice!
    But seriously,
    I like others, like Invicta or Centurion
    then add 225 to end:
    Invicta 225

Read all comments

Back to TopLeave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.

Recent Comments

  • ThomasSchiffer: It is not free in Germany. If I remember correctly public transportation is free in certain Eastern...
  • Varezhka: I am seeing a bit of ’94 Accord up front, which is not a bad thing if not the most exciting. I do...
  • Turbo Is Black Magic: What are you on about? Everyone under 45 knows exactly what the GT-R is, a huge chunk of car...
  • dal20402: That’s a nice car. Will need a new set of rims (nobody’s fixing those pitted chrome ones) and a...
  • Lou_BC: I did not say that every shred of metal was incapable of rusting. The body is the usual culprit. But hey,...

New Car Research

Get a Free Dealer Quote

Who We Are

  • Adam Tonge
  • Bozi Tatarevic
  • Corey Lewis
  • Mark Baruth
  • Ronnie Schreiber